These old-fashioned homemade yellow eye beans contain a well-seasoned combination of brown sugar and molasses. A slow cooker makes this simple yet tasty dish a snap, and they are wonderful baked beans to serve as a side dish. The recipe is suitable for vegetarians, but feel free to omit the butter and add about 1/4 pound of diced salt pork or bacon to the crock pot if you like. A teaspoon of smoked paprika is another way to insert some smoky flavor.
Yellow eye beans have long been a favorite dry bean in the state of Maine. They are widely available these days; you'll find them in larger supermarkets and online. The beans are smaller than their relative, the kidney bean but larger than navy beans. Yellow eye beans are traditionally baked with molasses; they have a soft, creamy texture when baked.
The beans make a delicious meal with hot dogs or serve them with a big breakfast of eggs, toast, and bacon or ham. They're excellent cookout beans as well.
- 16 ounces yellow eye beans (dry)
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- The evening before you plan to cook and serve, pick over beans. Discard any small stones and damaged or imperfect beans. Put the beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Cover the bowl and let the beans soak at room temperature overnight.
- In the morning, drain the beans and rinse them thoroughly. Put the beans in a stockpot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the husks curl when you blow on them. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse with hot water.
- Meanwhile, peel and chop the onion into 1/4-inch dice.
- Put half of the beans in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the beans with half of the chopped onion and dot with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Repeat with the remaining beans, onion, and butter.
- In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, molasses, ginger, mustard, and thyme, if using. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir to blend. Pour the mixture over the beans.
- Add just enough hot tap water to cover the beans.
- Cover the crock pot and cook them on low for about 5 to 7 hours, or until the beans are tender.
- Remove the cover the last hour to cook down (this depends on how soupy you like your beans), or cool the beans and reheat them on the stovetop. Taste the beans and add salt, as needed.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||4 g|
|Saturated Fat||2 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||1 g|
|Dietary Fiber||11 g|